State Legislator Stands Up for Family Caregivers While Battling Cancer

Let me start by saying, thank you State Sen. Debbie Smith (Nev.) for your leadership, courage and determination to fight for family caregivers and the older parents, spouses and other loved ones they help to remain in their homes. When Sen. Smith first talked to AARP about the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, she cared for her mom. By the time the bill passed the state legislature, Sen. Smith needed a caregiver herself, as she battled cancer. The CARE Act …

Thank You, Nurses, for ALL You Do

As National Nurses Week concludes, I want to take a moment and thank all nurses — past, present, and future — for all that you do. I know firsthand the importance of nurses not only to patients, but to their families. During the 15 years I cared for my parents, nurses made a huge difference in our lives. There’s no doubt, caregiving takes a team, and so often nurses were a part of my family’s team. I also know that …

States Cut Red Tape to Give Nurse Practitioners More Authority

This month, Gov. Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska state legislature made a smart move to remove the barrier that had prevented nurse practitioners from providing complete primary care for their patients. By cutting through the red tape, these elected officials have made more primary care clinicians available for Nebraskans in a variety of settings such as at home and in the community, medical offices, businesses like Walgreens, Target and CVS, and some workplaces. Nineteen other states have similar laws in …

How Is Your State Treating Its Firefighters, Nurses and Teachers?

My pop, a city bus driver, taught me to work hard and also have fun doing it. For more than 25 years, he announced each stop on his route as if he was leading a tour, not driving a Buffalo city bus. Pop retired at the mandatory age of 70. Mom and Pop lived on their Social Security, and Pop’s modest pension income was almost entirely dedicated to pay their health insurance premium. They enjoyed their retirement years, but I …

Sweet Dreams for Grandma Marty

I began hearing the dog’s squeaky bark after a few days of being transferred from West Hills Hospital to the nearby Topanga Terrace complex for physical therapy. I was to undergo a healing program after a bout with pneumonia and other potentially fatal problems. It was a faint yap that emerged out of the dim shadows down the hall at about 2 in the otherwise muted sounds of a quiet morning.  The slightest noise awakens me, especially unexpected disturbances, and …

Give Nurses More Authority to Heal

National Nurses Week comes to a close today, and I am reminded of my mom’s nurse, Sue. As my parents got older and Pop became Mom’s caregiver, they needed more help. Sue came once a week for the months following Mom’s return home from a rehabilitation center. She checked on Mom’s health and trained Pop on how to care for Mom during the week.  I am still so grateful for Nurse Sue and all that she did. She was one of …